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Frequently Asked Questions

Clinical legal education at King Hall complements the course work that constitutes the majority of your educational experience.  Through direct work on clients’ cases, you can gain a deeper understanding of the substantive law, develop skills, gain insights into the operation of our society's institutions, appreciate how and when you can be an advocate for change, and generally develop a sense of what career path you would like to follow.

The UC Davis Clinical Program is an integral part of the law school curriculum. It aims include:

  • To provide the skills training that comes from representing individuals and organizations in a live-client setting.
  • To provide training in specialized areas of the law of interest to students.
  • To contextualize legal ethics and professional responsibility by placing students at the center of their clients’ lived realities.
  • To provide a law-in-action approach to the related in-class training that students obtain from their classroom experience.
  • To bring our students’ critical perspective to bear on the day-to-day issues of the legal process.  
  • To keep enthusiasm for the practice of law alive.
  • To aid career development plans through the work experience and relationships built in the clinical setting.
  • To aid clients (generally low-income) by adding the ability and enthusiasm of our students to the better resolution of problems.
  • To aid practitioners and law-related offices by exposure to the fresh ideas from our students.
  • To provide useful additional stateside and national exposure to King Hall.

The Clinical Program has six clinics that offer students practice opportunities in the areas of immigration law, prisoners’ rights, civil rights, family law, criminal law and appellate practice. Students will represent clients during all aspects of a legal case.  Students will have the opportunity to interview and counsel clients, write legal briefs, memos, motions on behalf of clients, engage in discovery and other pre-trial activities, and advocate for their clients’ interests in legal and policy forums.

You may enroll in a clinic in your second or third year of law school.

The Clinics are graded courses with a classroom component and are considered electives.  You may take as many clinics as you would like consecutively. 

Students may take an advanced clinic if it is being offered.  Students in an advanced clinic will perform more advanced and different work than that conducted in the initial enrollment of the course. It is clinic policy that students enrolled in a clinic may not be concurrently enrolled in an externship.

Each of the clinics in the Clinical Program has its own credit guidelines. The Civil Rights and Prison Law clinics offer variable credits ranging from two to six credits a semester. The Immigration Law Clinic and Family Protection Legal Assistance Clinics are year-long courses offering four credits each semester.  The California Supreme Court Clinic is a one-semester, six-unit course.

Please check the application for individual clinic pre-requisites and priority information.

  • California Supreme Court Clinic is limited to 6 students.
  • Civil Rights is limited to 12 students.
  • Immigration Law is limited to 24 students.
  • Prison Law is limited to 10 students.
  • Family Protection and Legal Assistance is limited to 12 students.
  • Aoki Federal Defender Clinic is limited to 6 students.

  1. Plan your schedule and expect to spend 15-20 hours per week on clinic work.
  2. Think about your goals for the Clinical.
  3. Examine all the data available to choose a placement of interest to you. Talk with the Clinical Directors and to any students previously placed in the Clinic of interest to you.
  4. Schedule your clinical time in at least four-hour blocks.
  5. Study the Code of Professional Responsibility (which you must certify to having read under State Bar Rules).
  6. Remember that the attorney-client relationship of which you are now a part is a confidential one.
  7. Make a good impression from the very beginning but know your limitations. Work hard, but don't take on anything that you're not sure you can handle.
  8. Do not hesitate to ask questions no matter how simple.
  9. Use your initiative to get what you want from your clinical experience.
  10. Maintain an open-minded objective critical learning state of mind throughout your clinical experience.